Canucks-Blackhawks: Kris Versteeg's Celebration Was Uncalled For and Inexcusable

Joel LefevreAnalyst IMay 12, 2009

So the Hawks are moving on—but I have to address an absolutely ridiculous play by Kris Versteeg when scoring the Hawks second goal of the game. 

The goal came on a ridiculous call of Rick Rypien, which was one of many bad calls by the refs. 

Yes, the refs stunk—but that is not the point.

Yes, the Hawks had an answer for the Canucks all series and were the superior team—but that is not the point of this article neither.

I hope to god I was not the only one who saw the way Versteeg celebrated his power-play goal—the Game Six clincher.

After Versteeg celebrated with his bow and arrow celebration, similar to one that Luc Bourdon used to do, I felt like throwing up.  I don't know exactly what the meaning behind it was, but it seemed to be a mockery of either Alex Burrows—who did that to salute his best friend Bourdon who lost his life last summer—or a mockery of Bourdon himself. 

In any event, the celebration came out of absolutely nowhere. Maybe I am jumping to conclusions, but it sure looked like a mockery in some way. 

It is one thing to win, but you should be able to do it with class.  Yes, the Hawks were the better team and the term a sore loser is often used in these circumstances. Whatever the reason for some of the childish behavior, on the other side there is such thing as a sore winner.  And Versteeg's celebration looked ridiculous in every way to me. 

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And he was not the only one! Patrick Kane was shoving it in the face of Willie Mitchell with his post-game comments about his five-on-five play, which were not at all in the spirit of fair play. And what to say about Dustin Byfuglien, who was laughing at Luongo at every chance he got and finally got caught for a cheap shot he threw in the third period. 

It's very difficult to lose with grace and dignity, but I never thought it would be as hard to win with grace and dignity. However, the Chicago Blackhawks are proving otherwise.  If I were Quenneville or Scotty Bowman, I'd sit down Versteeg and have a long hard talk with him, warning him to never do something like that again. 

Congrats to Chicago for playing a whale of a series, you were the better team.  But to pull a move like Versteeg did on his goal has no business in the game of hockey—and I hope he is aware of  that.